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Plain Sunglasses, Transition Sunglasses, or Polarized Sunglasses - Which is Best?

Oct 12, 2007
As a first-time buyer of sunglasses, you may find yourself confused by all the terms used in the shops. Plain sunglasses, transition sunglasses, and polarized sunglasses - which should you choose? Isn't it enough anymore to come up to your personal shopper and say you'd like to buy a nice pair of sunglasses for yourself?

These days, this is not so. Nowadays, sunglasses are designed and engineered for specific uses. Polarized sunglasses, transition and ordinary - they all have their unique advantages, which would depend on what you want sunglasses for and how much you can afford to spend on them.

Nowadays, the only advantage that plain sunglasses have over all the other types is the cost. Plain sunglasses don't come with fancy lenses, which promise to diffuse light or reduce glare or whatever else - they simply protect your eyes from exposure to UV rays: the basic criterion that all sunglasses must live up to.

Used to be, plain shades lenses were the only types of lenses that could allow for prescription... but nowadays, prescription lenses can be found even in transition and polarized sunglasses. On the up side, if you are planning on getting more than one pair of sunglasses with prescription lenses, you will be able to save more if all of your pairs have plain lenses.

If your concern is style, plain sunglasses are by no means less fashionable than other kinds of shades. You don't have to be concerned that you will be wearing something that looks cheap, just because it doesn't have transition or polarized lenses. Some designer sunglasses could be quite expensive even without the special lenses! But the fact remains that for fashion or luxury sunglasses, plain shades are the most cost-effective.

Transition sunglasses are ideal for biking and casual outdoor uses. These lenses adjust their light filtration properties in order to adapt to different lighting conditions. However, if glare is a special concern - say you like to go boating or fishing, where encountering the glare of the water may place your health or even life at risk - you may do well to get polarized lenses, instead.

If you plan to buy all-around shades, which you can use for outdoor sports, as well as with casual outings, shades with multi-coated lenses that are both transition and polarized may provide the best deal. However, this is only if you are out to save money and at the same time seek optimum protection for your eyes. You only need one pair of sunglasses for most of your outdoor activities.

However, it is most advisable to have a variety of sunglasses to wear, so that you may mix and match them with your clothing, as well as the occasion you will be wearing them at. If you can afford it, why not stock up on different styles of shades with multi-coated lenses? If you would like to maximize your budget, however, having a healthy variety of polarized sunglasses, transition sunglasses and plain sunglasses in your wardrobe would be more cost-efficient.
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